Chicago is experiencing record-breaking cold weather conditions. In the early mornings and evenings outreach staff continue to visit the viaducts, loading docks, and underpasses in our area to get our homeless friends living on the streets inside and out of danger. As always, CCO has remained open and outreach workers will be working throughout the sub-zero temperatures.
CCO believes that affordable housing is a human right. Until housing is secured people should be offered safe, warm shelter, nutritious meals and services that can stabilize their lives and promote a brighter future.
On average 140 children are sheltered with their parents each day at CCO. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless uses Chicago Public School information to estimate the number of homeless children in Chicago. In the 2013-2014 academic school year 22,144 school-aged children were homeless in our city. The number of homeless children has increased by 18% from the previous school year.
Many factors contribute to the increase in homelessness, such as, the demolition of tens of thousands of CHA housing units with very few replaced, a time-limit on public benefits, inadequate income from employment, lack of safe affordable childcare, and decrease in government assistance. All of these deficiencies have created a greater demand for safe shelters for families of all descriptions.
CCO is privileged to welcome and assist homeless families of all descriptions. This includes, three-generational families, couples with children, mothers with children, and fathers with children. Join us in providing safe shelter, nutritious meals, and intensive case management services to the families sheltered at CCO. Consider donating today!
CCO men heading to the Epworth Church where they sleep each night.
Blowing snow and frigid temperatures this week means that CCO staff embarked on many evening runs in a large maxi van. Since last Sunday, staff have been driving our men’s shelter guests from CCO to Epworth Church where they sleep every night. In the daytime, the men meet with their case workers and have meals in the main CCO buildings.
Consider donating to CCO and being a part of the good things that are happening (no matter the weather) here! Thank you!
The maxi van take the men to Epworth Church where they sleep each night.
Sandy Ramsey, CCO Executive Director, drives the men sheltered at CCO to Epworth Church.
Over 130 children and youth are sheltered with their parents at CCO, during the holidays and all throughout the year. Our donors, volunteers, and supporters have always been a valuable part of making the season bright for each and every child. Holiday work starts as early as September with individuals and groups contacting Eve, our Christmas coordinator, anxious to gather new toys and basic necessities for the families sheltered with us. As the gifts begin to arrive in December, Eve and her group of volunteers, wrap, organize and sort the gifts into family groups. It takes a lot of hours and input to make Christmas shine. Then the gifts are delivered to the parents of each family to celebrate the holiday when and how they choose. This way, parents feel empowered and able to give gifts to their children themselves. We have had many parents tell us that their Christmas at CCO has been the best Christmas they’ve ever had. Hearing comments like that make all the work worth it!
The giving doesn’t stop with the families. The residents of our single women and single men’s shelter are no less important. Each program celebrates with a festive party that includes decorations, a delicious holiday meal and gifts. Everyone is valued and no one is left out.
As you celebrate the holidays this year remember CCO and considering making a holiday or year-end donation. Your gift is 100% tax deductible and you will have the knowledge that you are a part of making the holidays and every day brighter for our shelter guests.
Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Learn more about creative ways you can give on December 2nd. “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more.”
“We are so thankful!” This may be a surprising comment to hear from someone who is homeless and living in a shelter over the Holiday Season. The truth is, we hear it often. This statement and others like it are examples of the sincerity, resilience and determination of our shelter guests. We are grateful to see them rise up each day and try to take steps toward self-sufficiency and stable housing. We are grateful to be able to help our shelter guests in their journey and we are grateful to you, our donors, for giving us the support we need to carry on with this critical work.
Using data from the US Census and Public School records, the National Center on Family Homelessness reports that nearly 2.5 million American children experienced homelessness in 2013. That is 1 in 30 children. At CCO, we are grateful to be able to offer safe shelter to children with their parents and help them work towards a stable future.
While staying at CCO our school age children attend free after-school tutoring through Chicago Hopes. Back to school events and holiday parties make our kids feel special and cared for. One of our valuable volunteers delivers a birthday party to the shelter when it’s one of the children’s birthdays. She finds out what kind of cake the child likes and makes it. She wraps new gifts from the donations we receive. It’s great to think that kids will look back at their time of homelessness and also have these special memories. And, of course, compassionately supporting and assisting parents throughout their homeless experience at CCO has a lasting impact on the lives of their children.
Join us in this important effort. Consider donating today! Thank you!
To read the full report by the National Center on Family Homelessness click here.
The Holiday Season should be a special time for everyone. At CCO we try to make the holidays bright for each person. You are an important part of that effort. There are a variety of ways you can be a blessing to our shelter guests. Donate new unwrapped toys or gift items for those staying in one of our family shelter, donate funds for a Christmas party in the single men’s or women’s shelter program, or organize your church or civic group to provide a holiday meal. We work extra hard this time of year to make everyone at CCO feel special and cared for.
Join us this holiday season in making Christmas bright for our shelter guests. If you have questions contact Eve at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
It was an outstanding year for the Team CCO Charity Tent at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Volunteers offered drinks, food and encouragement to Team CCO runners. Enjoy the Charity Tent Album! And it’s not too late donate. Go to CrowdRise, our charitable fitness donation platform. All donations go to CCO!
To help homeless families they ran through 29 Chicago neighborhoods; they were cheered on by over 1 million spectators and crossed the finish line after running 26.2 miles! So far they have raised over half of their fundraising goal, and have just under a month left to meet it. Congratulate them, and encourage them for their hard work by donating to the team.Thank you for your commitment to charitable fitness and the shelter guests at CCO! What an awesome team! Enjoy the photo album and look for more photo albums of the marathon soon! To Donate Click here to be redirected to CrowdRise, our charity fitness donation platform.